‘Give Local Authorities Control Over Resources In Their Jurisdiction’

‘Give Local Authorities Control Over Resources In Their Jurisdiction’
Published: 2016 June 13 06:27:50 (1007 Views)



The Public Policy Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PRIZ) says local authorities must be given full control over all resources required for them to properly discharge their developmental mandate.

In a book titled Local Governance Reforms: Debating Options for Zimbabwe released recently, PRIZ said the system of participatory local governance should be properly clothed in an appropriate legal framework and incorporated into the constitutional arrangements of the State, to safeguard against arbitrary actions.

“For effective fiscal management successful fiscal devolution the mayor and his or her team should pay attention to the responsibility for own revenue collection as key characteristic for fiscal devolution and increasing creditworthiness and improved local accountability lies with the metropolitan council,” it said.

“With increased local control of provincial councils and local authorities, as envisaged in a devolved local government system there could be improved accountability over resources exploitation.”

This came at a time Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, has marshalled local authorities to dance to his dictates for political reasons.

PRIZ said an increased revenue base and efficient revenue collection would allow for sustained self-financing and long-term creditworthiness as well as developing clear formula for intergovernmental revenue transfers increasing transparency and predictability about obligations between both parties and reducing unnecessary political bickering.

“Local government functions should be clearly demarcated to determine what infrastructural investments the local authority and government are obligated to finance especially through government bonds to avoid confusion and inefficiency,” it said.

In the long term, PRIZ said it would be necessary to develop the staff financial skills and expertise to improve on bidding procedures and project cost management.

It said local authorities should focus on reform of local accounting, financing and auditing procedures with the central government playing a central coordinating role in such reform endeavours.



- News Day
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